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I got home from the dentist and found a police car at the house. I left my husband watching the Yankee game. I went to the dentist and I left a message to that effect on a small white board, as usual. Apparently, he called the police saying he was watching the game and someone got hit in the head. I'm not sure exactly what he said. The police thought he may have done something to me. When I got home shortly thereafter, the officer had a handle on the situation. He suggested I get an alarm for the door and a bracelet for my husband. All well and good, but that doesn't stop him from using the phone. I can't shut down our phone service. The phone is the one thing he remembers how to use and uses it often. He has tried to call Clint Eastwood, The White House, Donald Trump..... Should I just wait until he forgets how to use the phone, just like the computer, the TV remote, the microwave, et al.? Any suggestions?

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I think in some cases can make it where a code is needed for everything but 911 ect. might want to ask phone company about that
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For the last two years i have watched my mom and step dad go through this together. I had to remove things from around my step dad, but the only thing that was hard for me i had to stop her from cooking, she would put something on the stove and they both would go to sleep and if i was cooking dinner and had to run out to the store for something i forgot for dinner he would go into the kitchen and turn up the stove and dinner would get ruined and they didn't remember who did it. I disconnected the stove and started cooking on a stove top burner once i finished cooking i would lock up the burner with other things i felt would endanger them. Besides if i would say something to him it would always angry him, so i just started putting away things to stop things from repeating itself, because his couldn't remember things for five minutes that he had did or said to anyone.
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Philis, keep calm.
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Philis, look at our posts, about the same time. Your first one was there when I posted, but as I was typing a response your second post must have been about the same time. Look at the time stamps.
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" have you ever tried an agency caregiver? You did not read my post at all.

" Cash under the table? DAM RIGHT

" but it sounds like it isn't working thus far." Working WAY better then the years I used agencies and got rid of just as many people. Ummmm duh, every one of them has college or university PSW certificate or higher.
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I am currently using a nationwide caregiver agency, and since this was a last minute request for 24 hour basic care, the agency sent those who do fill ins until a regular can be found. I found the employees to be super, watchful, attentive, asking please let me do something to help. Even the fellow they sent wanted to do laundry, vacuum, dust... he wanted to be kept busy.

But my Mom [97 and clear mind] had other ideas, she didn't want the employees in her house.... oops, we have a problem in the room, and her name is Mom. Dad on the other hand was so happy to have so many new sets of ears to listen to his stories. Both my parents are fall risks, but Mom said she didn't want help. So today I cut back the 24 hour watch to just day time watch... and will get one of those alert thingees for Dad to wear... just hope he doesn't lose it :P

What I liked about an agency is that the Caregivers are licensed, bonded, insured, and the company pays them Workmans Comp if injured... and if a caregiver can't make it, they send out a replacement for that shift.
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Philis, have you ever tried an agency caregiver? Many are trained. If the caregivers you use are not trained what they find may be a complete shock that they are not able to deal with. Cash under the table? All it would takeis one of these caregivers to call the IRS and you will have many more problems, not related to dementia. Have you ever received a recommendation for a caregiver you have used? I know it saves lots of money to hire privately, pay cash, but it sounds like it isn't working thus far.
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I guess I was very lucky. The very first CPA the agency send was an awesome fit. I kept her through hospice, even though many days her services were less needed. I think of her from time to time, and hope she is doing well on her assignments now.
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If you hire an agency I warn you right now you will have almost no options in terms of changing people as they will only have maybe 3 people at most they will switch out before they turn on you, hiring privately is the ONLY way I advise you to go, it is the ONLY way to control what type of people will come, and believe me paying more and going with agencies will NOT give you better people, I was doing it for 3 years before saying NO WAY EVER AGAIN to agencies.
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About caregivers I will warn you it may take going through 30 before you find one that will be decent, the field is full of arrogant jezebels. I have literally gone through probably 150 in the last 5 years, probably more. None of them ever last more then 2-3 months if that, most (95%) don't even last 1 week, I hire all privately and pay in cash.
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Agencies can reassign, caregivers are also free to ask for reassignment, those are their rights.
Your right is to have a capable caregiver that is a good fit and nit to have turnover. Stay strong having help is better than not even if you hit a tough patch.
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Mimi and GardenArtist, This is a huge challenge for me, too. Many of the CNA's we have hired don't like to sedate my dad for fear he will fall. I get an alarming text message and I wind up rushing home for some calamity if I leave during the day. It really takes me and one or two aids and my sister all to manage them. I try to go do what I can before 10am while they are doing their bathing routine, or in the evening sometimes they are calm.
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Mimi, the reason the police suggested an alarm for the door and bracelet for your husband - is because they must see a lot of this happening - the mental health deterioration of the elderly. He is giving you advice Before hubby reaches that stage and 'wanders' out of the house - and gets hurt or lost. My mom went through this so many times. It was worst at 8pm. We spent so many nights out looking for her, hoping she didn't get run over by a car. My dad finally put extra sliding locks on all doors just above the door knobs - when we found mom whimpering in the dark, under an old car. FYI, a few years ago, an elderly man with Alzheimer walked off with his pet dog. The family went on the news asking "Have you seen this man?" He and the dog were never found. Just this year, a man who Never wandered before - Did. The police and fire men were called out to search. He was found - when a woman called 911 on a man who was trying to break into her house. It was him. And he Was lost and couldn't find his way back home. He was very, very fortunate.
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My heart goes out to you, Mimijazz. It is SO hard to be responsible for a spouse with dementia.

At the very beginning I could leave my husband watching golf on tv while I did errands. Eventually I just couldn't count on that anymore. Some days he would do just fine, and others he did unsafe things. I had to be sure someone was with him at all times. It is very sad, and very inconvenient.

My husband stayed home with me the entire 10 years of his dementia. I am the minority in my support group. Most people do eventually have to place their loved ones in a care center. But it really doesn't sound like that is your situation yet.

Preserve your husband's dignity. Let him be (or seem to be) as independent as is safe. But do not let the person with dementia make the important decisions in running the household. There simply Will Be an aide for certain days and times. Or he Will Go to a day-health program x days a week. You must be the decision-maker.

You need to take care of yourself because you are worth it. Your life matters as much as his does. And if you get seriously burned out not only will you not be able to keep him home with you, you might not be up to the next important role of being his advocate in a care center.

Sorry. But I think the time has come for not leaving the dear man alone.

(And how sweet of him to be concerned for the person who was hit by a ball. And how clever of him to remember 911 in an emergency. I do admire this guy. He doesn't need someone staring at him 24 hours a day. He just shouldn't be left alone any more.)
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Mimi, what a shocking scenario for you to come home to. My mom was watching the news on tv Sunday and thought fires were closing in on her. She was panicky and ran out of the house into the middle of the street looking for firemen.
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Hi GardenArtist - that poor woman whose husband dialled 911 because someone on tv got shot - she is not young herself. Her health is at stake. She has to do something drastic like dump her husband at a nursing home or hospital - before she ends up suffering burnout. I don't want her - or anyone - to suffer burnout like I did. And I don't want her or anyone ruining their own health like I did. All unpaid family carers have to do what they have to do to get their parents into care before tragedy occurs
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Mimi, I understand that it can be very frustrating to find a cregiver that is a good fit. When your husband put his foot down it was time for you to do the same. This is the caregivers job, the agency needs to keep her working, this is her income. So hang in there you can try a different agency as well. Others may have a good fit as well.
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Thanks for all the input. I had a full time aide start about two weeks ago. She was a perfect fit for my husband. After about 6 days, my husband had a meltdown at 3 am, ranting about how he doesn't want the aide in the house any more, he's putting his foot down, yada, yada.....I sent the aide home the next morning and said we'd start fresh the next week. That weekend, the agency reassigned her to another family without telling me. The agency is looking for another aide for me, but I'm a little sour on the process now.
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Bast good thing your loved one is in a nursing home.

Mimi, it sounds as if it is time for your hubby have oversight at all times. There comes a time for all of them. This happened with my mom about 3.5 years ago. She had gone to her bedroom to pout because she did not want to go for a walk with me and her hubby. So we went anyway, only walked half way up the block then returned home. My mom was in a panic, didn't know where anybody was, and trying to call 911 because she thought something bad had happened to her children. Another time when we first started using agency caregivers Mom was sure this woman was in the house to burglarize it. She had the phone in her hand threatening to call 911 and physically thying to throw the caregiver out.

That day I called the authorities, police and fire, to let them know there was a person with dementia in the household. They would, of course still respond, but at least had an idea as to what may actually be happening in the house. All should do this, let the authorities know if there is a person with dementia in the house. This also protects responders as some with dementia will get violent.
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The only answer is for him to not be alone, if it means respite care for errands, or a care facility. I think Blast is burnt out on caregiving. Hang in there kid........
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From what I've read of bast's other posts she(?) reached serious burnout a long time ago and still hasn't recovered. I'm not suggesting he's ready for a nursing home, but I think when the line between reality and fantasy starts to blur you never know what he may get up to without someone there to re-ground him.
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cwillie nailed my thoughts on this. There comes a time when a person with dementia isn't safe alone at home anymore. This could be a wake-up call that more will be needed now that he is becoming more forgetful and disoriented. We have three men whose wives bring them to the local senior center when the wives need to do things. The husbands are in moderately advanced stages of dementia, but do fine there on the computers and exercise machines. The center is a good thing for these wives. They can do their shopping and other things without worrying about their husbands. Mimi, do you have a local senior center that can help like this? It can be easier than relying on friends and family too often.
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Mimi I'm wondering if the phone company could put a block on any calls except specific numbers, although 911 would have to be an allowed number and that wouldn't prevent him from calling them.

This is a tough situation. There might be a time when he does need 911.

If you've ever watched any of those 911 programs though, you'll know that people call for a lot of silly reasons that have nothing to do with cognitive function. A woman once called because she didn't get the kind of hamburger or something she wanted from McDonalds. Another called when she needed a plumber.

Although I wouldn't disagree that it's a commitment of time and resources to respond to frivolous calls, your husband apparently really thought it was an emergency.

Bast, are you truly serious about dumping her husband off at some nursing home? I couldn't believe what you wrote.
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"Am I the only one who thinks that someone who thinks they need to call 911 because of something they saw on TV is not really safe to leave home alone anymore?"

Actually, such a person needs to be in a nursing home.

If you have access to a car, drive your husband interstate, drop him, with all his clothing, off at the nearest nursing home and leave him there - and pray your hardest that god doesn't magically and supernaturally arrange circumstances that you will be forced to once again care for him as that is too much for anyone
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Am I the only one who thinks that someone who thinks they need to call 911 because of something they saw on TV is not really safe to leave home alone anymore?
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Call your phone company and see if they can set you up with a phone that only does emergency calls?
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Yikes, I bet your heart sank when you saw the police car in front of your house.

I would just wait until he forgets how to use the telephone. Best to keep the phones active in case you are out and there is a fire or medical need where hubby is still able to call. Your husband isn't the only one who calls 911 for what they think are emergencies. At least you know if someone gets hurt, either at home or on TV, your husband knows who to call :)
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i agree that a bracelet and alarm will not stop the phone calls.. what a silly suggestion for this situation! Do you have anyone who could "visit" when you go on errends or apts?
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